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addressed arab aspirations in his 12 points assuring them "feet absolutely unmolested opportunity of development for many that is the first encounter with the emerging superpower that would come to dominate world affairs in the 20th century as the world assembled in paris the arabs look to woodrow wilson as the standard for their aspirations of course, the disappointed the arab world and the united states to nothing to prevent to the partition of the arab lands or those countries empires nor did american come to the assistance of the arab world when the united states returned after the second world war it was a dominant
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power to subordinate the middle east with priorities but with the election of barack obama united states seem to be on the threshold of a new era of positive and engagement and i have come here he told his audience to seek a new beginning between the united states and moslems around the world based upon mutual interest and mutual respect. he spoke of years of mistrust and of the needs to say openly of the things that we say in our hearts. there must be a sustained effort to listen to each other and learn from each other and to seek common ground. this language of mutual respect and understanding represented a total reversal of policies to the white house. gone was the language of the war on terror obamacare had
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requested staffers gone was the ambiguity over torture that had undermined americans' moral authority of human-rights from the very beginning of his presidency he said he would have closure of guantanamo bay. away with the talk of the access of evil the new american president had a policy of engagement with the international community dialogue with states that united states might disagree with and resolution to the conflict to stabilize the middle east with the relations of the united states. already results suggested there was a tectonic shift in russian in terms of the arab world view of the united states of barack obama.
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obama's initiative to close guantanamo and drawdown the presence in iraq resulted in a surge of the approval rating across the arab world. in such different come these countries as syria qatar and egypt where approval ratings had fell in single digits public opinion polls showed a marked increase in approval of that 15% and syria, 22% qatar, a 25% egypt. these are not a huge approval ratings but when you deal in double digits that response is a positive trend. the most dramatic of approval came in north africa in about syria and to be sure when they were up by 22% eight zogby poll found
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more support for the administration and saudi arabia, united arab emirates more than 50 percent of respondents claimed to have a more positive view of the usa since the election of barack obama between the gallup poll and the sabia but obama's still clearly faces a real area of distressed when he went to cairo. only the united arab emirates tallied the outright majority view of the united states when obama took to the podium and cairo he was talking to a skeptical arab world and in egypt a clear 70% of the
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public who the unfavorable opinion of the united states 70 percent of egypt according to poll ratings no single speech could eradicate years of trust he told cairo nor could i answer in the time that i have all of the complex questions that brought us to this point*. of course, obama's outreach too not begin in cairo already in january when week after the inauguration obama chose to address the audience by giving the interview on a satellite television station. already he was speaking of a new partnership based on mutual trust and mutual respect and interest and showed a willingness to criticize america's actions and all too often in the united states it starts by dictating and we don't know
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all of the factors involved in he had knowledge to the depth of the strains in europe -- relations when there was no reason in america could not restore the same respect in partnership america had with the muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago. in other words, we have to go back 20 or 30 years to find a moment when there was a good working partnership so obama's recognized the mistrust and how far back it dated. and in this lies the essential appeal of obama's words to his cairo audience and he recognized the historic roots of the 21st century and a place that america roll out-- and the role they played.
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bring in the discussion back i have spent the past 20 years of my life teaching the history of the region and i did write the book. like president obama i do believe the historic background is essential for addressing current affairs and the complex issues in the middle east others a to pay far more attention was what deals with the arabs today. in the west we discount the current value of history as a political commentator has written when americans say it is history they mean it is a relevant and nothing could be further from the truth. and the people need to pay more attention to the way it has been experienced and
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understood by the arabs themselves. not so much from repeating history as repeating historic mistakes. insuring no eastern politics any in westerner needs to come to facts that shaped political culture the late lebanese journalist captured this in the essay he wrote being zero. the arab people are haunted by a sense of powerlessness. permanently in blamed -- inflamed and powerlessness to suppress the feeling you are no more than a loans a pond on a chessboard even if the game is played in your own backyard. basically i am able to gain objectives in the modern world the arabs see themselves as pawns. forced to play by other
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people's rules this is not an entirely new phenomenon negotiated largely by the rules set by the dominant power. in this sense modern era of history has in the ottoman conquest in the 16th century when they were ruled , the imperial powers and the super powers in the cold war each perpetuated the subordination of the arab world to outside rules. after five centuries of blame by others' roles they aspired mastery over their own destinies such as the had enjoyed the first five centuries of islam. most said they had never been further away than they are now. one obama express his
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appreciation for accomplishments and it acknowledged the depth of the tension between united states and the arab world we did in historical forces going beyond any current policy to date he was not speaking directly to the sources of the terrible days of the 21st century the success of the overtures can be traced to his acknowledgement of the present significance of history. obama's tyra's speech addressed areas of mutual concern 29 states and arab world. these were america's security from violent extremism and how that links to the troops in iraq and afghanistan. the palestinian conflict
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threat was of nuclear weapons fourth was democracy , a fifth religious freedom six was women's rights and economic development so that is what he sought to cover in his address and of these issues three particular standout as having important groups coted to the question of extremism and a second may the arab and israel conflict and in these areas the new u.s. administration is most in need of historic grounding if to avoid historic mistakes. obama has received his pledge to withdraw american troops from iraq by 2012.
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i've made it clear to the iraqi people that we pursued no basis or have no claim on the territory iraq's sovereignty is its own. it is a sensitive point* across the arab point* teach world where britain went to war against the military government in 1941 to preserve the rights to overthrow the government at the height of the second world war. but also egypt where britain had fought a violent conflict of the police force to go along the suez canal 1951/52 also the french had violated the sovereignty of syria and lebanon and they refuse to hand over control of the military even when the syria and lebanon had it
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obtained independence and in their early years of the cold war in the fifties united states was determined to secure a strong military alliance bringing the middle east to the west. even the eisenhower doctrine all founded on opposition to military intervention when the president and lebanon called for american intervention in the 1950 e. -- and 158 lebanese war the americans responded by sending in the marines. carefree arab nationalist fear. the only reason it went off so smoothly was because american troops only stayed three months and never fired a shot in anger.
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but not so much the next time landing in the aftermath of 1982. within one year of returning to lebanon october 198-3241 u.s. servicemen along with 80 or 90 french servicemen were killed when suicide bombers drove trucks with explosives into the compound at which they were house. within four months of the october -- october bombing reagan withdrew the troops and the policy was left in tatters. when america returned he would be in the strategic oil producing regions of the persian gulf from the iran-iraq war of that range from 19831888 to ensure the saudi and kuwaiti oil to the
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world markets. the iraq invasion of kuwait in 1980 provoked -- promoted the greatest military buildup in the region 400 and 50,000 u.s. servicemen and men assembled to drive the iraqi military from kuwait. in the aftermath of the desert storm more tens of thousands of troops remained in the state's raising great tension between the local population and their governments. it was the presence of foreign troops that 80 needed is on a bin laden from the monarchy after years of being seen as a hero to fight the jihad in afghanistan. what these historic examples demonstrate either far from upholding western interest
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it produces tremendous instability and serves focus against foreign occupation. obama pledge to withdraw troops from iraq without seeking any fights in that country there are grounds for concern as america is beginning to reduce its presence but even the government in baghdad seems to believe it will face an easier time in combating a domestic insurgency with occupation overshadowing iraq. in making israel palestine conflict, president obama addressed the issue with a lot of history of one-sided u.s. policies and the
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ratings suggested he did not enjoy the confidence of the palestinian people. of like every other country polled february and march this year the palace story and territories reported a marked decline in support for the united states government. they had a higher view of american policy for george bush than they did of america february 2009. of course, palestinians are still recovering from 2008 / 2009 that left palestinians and israelis dead creek and that even the election could call the rage with the devastation of that conflict and words could not be enough. obama gave his cairo
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audience something of a mixed message. he started by reaffirming america to its alliance with israel. he said unbreakable bond but the reflection on the plight of the palestinians went further then any american president had said let there be no doubt he assured his audience this situation for the people it is intolerable. the occupation that comes and the acknowledged that the suffering of refugees who for more than 60 years haven't heard pain and dislocation and reaffirmed his said ministrations commitment to a two-state solution where israelis and palestinians each live in
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insecurity that is in israel's interest and palestine interest and the world's interest. two achieve this settlement he called on the palestinians to abandon the path of violence into the arab world to lift up the commitments and normalize relations with the jewish state as part of a revived peace process and old money as part of the general peace element for the region but the challenge to the israelis was more stern yet. they must acknowledge that just as israel's right to exist cannot be denied neither can palestine. the united states does not accept the legitimacy of settlements that violates previous settlements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. it is time for the settlements to stock. singling out is really
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barack obama pick the one issue on which he felt confident he could have broad support in the united states and abroad. polls seem to suggest there really was not a great deal of american opinion. great support for israel nor is there a great support in israel if you were to pull a broad swath many would rather have settlement during a peace initiative but there is not support on capitol hill and it talks of the special interest we always have to consider how capitol hill will respond with this is one area in which the president could take a strong line without
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alienating the most important constituencies. more over obama's had gone a long way to reverse what was a very harmful shift in american policy basically a glowing acceptance of israeli settlements inside the palestinian territories. and in the aftermath of the 1967 war when among other territories the west bank and gaza strip were occupied by israeli forces, the united states concurred with the international community in the wings the israeli settlements as a violation of the geneva convention and against international law is is maintained right through the presidency of jimmy carter through 1976 through 1980. the change began with the presidency of ronald reagan when he moderated the
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position in he declared summons a hindrance to the peace process that was unhelpful rather than if the go. many will argue that president george h. w. bush took a hard line on settlements when his administration froze billion in loan guarantees as pressure to stop settlements less well known is the administration did finally reverse that decision and the loan guarantee went through and settlement construction continued. even during the period when the palestinians were most seriously engaged in a land for peace process the construction supplements if anything at a more accelerated rate it was to that point*.
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between 1993 and 2000 the number settlers increase by 52% to win for about 247,375,000 this is a rapid escalation israelis and palestinians were most engage. but that was not the low point*. the low point* came when george w. bush wrote a letter to aerial chevron and gave recognition of some of the israeli settlements and to go parts of israel and wrote in light of new realities on the ground including already existing major israeli population centers it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations would be full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.
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this is unfortunate for several reasons on the one hand it gave every incentive for the israelis to continue to change realities on the ground what incentive do have to preserve the status quo when the last remaining superpower says they would recognize the reality on the ground and it also lou took away her from the demesne of the critical question for america to agree on that position compromised america as an honest broker in any peace process. obama new america face day credibility problem of any revived peace process and to prove that he calls for a total freeze on all israeli
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settlement construction. the arab world took that as a benchmark of which to judge the president's determination to keep their promise and deliver and of course, there is no 18. when he turned to the question of democracy he was on no less sensitive to rein in and there is controversy of the promotion of democracy in recent years and much controversy is connected to the war in iraq. let me be clear no system of government and our should be imposed on one nation more than any other. there is a widespread misconception that the arab world as a whole is hostile to democracy or representitive government even the most brief survey
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demonstrates this is false. one of the earliest proponents of political participation and constitutional rule in the arab world is the egyptian cleric whose steady din paris between in 1831. he returned to egypt then wrote to a huge tract in which he presented a rather novel perspective with the exotic people known as the french. there were a lot of examples of people who wrote works of middle easterners but he was the first to turn the tables and returned the favor. there is no full english translation -- translation published and for those of
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you with interest about these early discussions of democracy i could not recommend it more strongly. but he was captivated by the workings of the french institution though whole contract binding rule of that way this is the document that promoted the right to become citizens rather than that of the aristocracy or 80 routing each. among the articles of the constitution were those asserting the quality of those before the law and the eligibility of those to serve in any office regardless of the other rancor the possibility of that upward mobility he argues would encourage people to study and learn so that the may reach a higher position than the one they occupied and help to keep the civilization from stagnating.
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here again he treads a very fine line at the high the rigid societies of this kind of talk of social liberty was quite revolutionary for the time. but further yet praising the expression the constitution encouraged everybody to express his opinion and dealings and he introduced his ear readers to something they had not encountered which is a newspaper. he explained the power of the press was remarkable to hold people to account for their actions. when someone does something great, the journalist fight about it said it is doomed by the notables to make the people who have done it is despicable than newspapers
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would not be a danger they are in today. but his book set in motion the debate of constitutional reform that by the 1870's lead to representitive bodies and constant -- constitutional rules. these are fragile beginnings so it the ottoman constitution was suspended within the year of the introduction and then it came to an end with the revolt of 1881/82 in resulting british occupation of egypt in 1882. but revolutionary movements restore constitutional rules and politics and in turkey that came in 1908 with the turk revolution with 1919
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and 1923 but in a sense that represents a high point* write across the arab world the high point* was called the liberal age. it was also the case that party pluralism, the elections come a widespread free press and iraq were elected bodies and the elected legislature advise and effort and should benefit vice accretion of parliament in the drafting of constitutions in syria and lebanon. in many ways britain and france were too enthusiastic about democracy and elected government. they were more concerned with the form of democracy of being shown to create the constitution's and representitive bodies without actually giving any
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genuine authority. in this way the british and french undermine the credibility and legitimacy of democratic forms of government by insuring the elected legislatures would be compliant and rubber-stamp such policies as wish to pursue in the country so parliaments were not domination of the representitive government. then by a the fifties the multi-party politics were toppled by military men heading revolutionary republics tarred by association with tainted rules. not to say democracy movement ended in the 1950's over the intervening decades, the very authoritarian nature gave
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rise to a number of democracy movement spacing very severe oppression within their own countries. the work already made dangerous and difficult by security apparatus of what were very strong states were for the -- further compromised by western policy supportive of the status quo and of the arab governments regardless of the human rights record. but we're in the aftermath of 9/11 the bush and administration began to advocate democracy in the arab world and the new policies have grave concern after bushy clear the open-ended war on terror we came to see the bush vision as a vehicle for domination
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rather than french imperialism in fact, bush used democratization as a justification to go to war with iraq only with confirmed suspicion but the ultimate american betrayal of democracy movements in the arab world actually came after the iraq war. first in palestine where hamas surprise the entire world by securing overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections that were confirmed -- confirmed free and fair january 2006. hamas took 34 of the seats in the legislative council. when the hamas leader became prime minister comment he was given a number of preconditions set by the united states and the e.u.. when he refused to recognize israel's right to exist and
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refuse to forsake the use of violence and refuse to accept the terms both the u.s. and e refused to recognize his government and cut off funding to the palestinian authority. it was the beginning of the crisis that has resulted under gaza and the west bank and further undermining the scope for a meaningful peace process and the second american betrayal for the democracy came shortly after that in of lebanon where a probe western democracy movement rose in the aftermath of the 2005 assassination of former lebanese product it came for a full syrian withdrawal all with full support of the bush white house. they call the movement the
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revolution but the lebanese call it the independent and the father and a o is decried the use of the revolution that was met in a way to connect to the war and revolution the ukraine had experienced as part of the unstoppable tide of democratization that the bush and administration promised would come from the provision. but within one year, the united states abandoned the democratically elected government of lebanon to a massive israeli bombardment in december 2006 following in the event -- of the vote hezbollah attacks against israeli troops inside israel's territory. that went on nearly one month in the summer of 2006. not only did the united states failed to restrain israel or first call for a cease-fire but they expedited the shipment of
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its shipments to facilitate israel destruction of a south lebanese villages and infrastructure in the southern suburbs. it seemed it would only be used for compliance with the policies of the arab world it was important for obama's to reassure the cairo audience in this way the american administration had turned over a new leaf. america respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard even if we disagree with them for and be will welcome all elected peaceful governments provided they govern with respect for all of their people there was not the unconditional the acceptance but it showed a willingness to engage in parties of the united states.
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no doubt barack obama left cairo speech raised expectations around the world from a positive new era of american engagement in a row grateful to him to make it a priority to speak to the muslim world from the air and capital within the first 100-- of his presidency. they seem to like him and applied every reference and they gave the president the warmest of ovations that was carried on into the arab press and in newspaper gave his speech pretty good reviews and political leaders across the spectrum welcomed the change in tone but reserved judgment to see what the actual policies will look like. one of the foreign policies officials gave obama the benefit of the doubt. he wrote there is no doubt that we find certain traits
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distinguished in the character of will plummet and he has no repetition of former u.s. presidents. when we listen to his speeches be no something new. there is no doubt there is a change in tone but it is doubtful there will be a change in policy. if the change were to take place it would not be at cairo university, it would have to be in the u.s. congress. that is from hezbollah. of course, no president wants the endorsement from hezbollah. [laughter] but in terms of one what might consider the hard-line it is a barometer against which to judge the positive response but wait and see attitude. the real danger is the heightened expectation he has created across the arab world a significant change in u.s. policy in the resolution of what is proven to be a regional conflict.
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this is nowhere more apparent than in palestine last month an official leaked to the western press of a memo dated in october that was asserted that all who placed in the new administration and president obama had evaporated. he claimed he could not withstand the pressure of the zionist lobby we must remember we must remember it is raised to mythical heights and fighting the agenda for negotiations for peace. but netanyahu and willingness to budge and secretary clinton and mixed signals about whether there may be concessions made to prime minister fed yahoo!
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yahoo! -- nine yahoo! without a total settlement had cost the administration a great event mount of credibility. it is clear obama is an unwilling to force the government to adopt the settlement but at this point* the alternatives are not very good either this stalemate after continuing to change realities on the ground with a viable palestinian state with expansion and building the separation barrier or else obama reverse his position to try and draw it netanyahu to the process affecting eight u-turn that would engage not only his credibility but also among any palestinian partner who might try to engage. after the heightened expectation the dashed hopes
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really risk provoking a crisis and on this issue issue, time is running out. but it is not just palestine people are disenchanted they're very concerned that under president obama and united states will give less support and here, if i sound unduly critical there were many democracy reformers in the region who felt the commitment he had made was genuine and the funding said the administration provided to the democracy movements was very important. -- who was arrested for contesting the last election tried to make a populist candidacy and was arrested
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has openly criticized the above administration. his reduce talk of democracy gives these regimes as security too not face pressure that has a negative impact in the arab world. unreasonable expectations and you can said negative process in motion. one of the strength of obama's approach is his recognition of how the regions are connected that one needs to address the iran nuclear program to assuage to create an environment they need to talks to syria and iran to do anything meaningful in lebanon and a democracy is intimately tied to development obama's shows he
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recognizes the come plus -- complexity and interconnectedness of all of these places. he assumes a stable middle east as the administration believes it is the best way to undermine the tariff threat. even know he will not talk about a war on terror there's still the threat. there is a risk by taking on everything at once you do not get to finish anything. you do not get to realize any of your objectives. and by promising too much there is no progress anywhere. it is a dangerous proposition to raise expectations and then disappoint so as a bomb a conceited himself no one speech can solve all the problems but a good start is made by the president and his administration faces a good deal of work ahead and as i ask you for your questions, i am sure i do too. thank you very much.
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[applause] i think the plan is only the one podium. if you would show a hand to bring the microphone. >> i know a lot of people in this area in history often come to us because they have a bias. for example, of middle eastern history and a of background, etc.. what brought you to this field? would you consider yourself to be objective and only suede of the learning the you have had that do you have any sort of prejudice into the process or have you lost any in your
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